Lust for Gold

Synopsis: The tale of how immigrant Jacob Walz, the "Dutchman" (German) of Arizona's notorious Lost Dutchman gold mine, found treasure and love and lost them again.
Production: Columbia Pictures
90 min

You are looking at Superstition Mountain.

A barbaric pile of rock,

40 miles long by 20 wide.

The man is Floyd Buckley.

He's going into this 800 square miles

of sudden and violent death...

because he thinks

it's just another mountain...

and because he's greedy for its treasure.

Yeah, I said treasure. Gold.

$20 million worth of precious yellow metal...

waiting to be found

in America's most elusive mine...

appropriately named "The Lost Dutchman".

It's simple to get to. The mountain, I mean.

Just drive 36 miles due east

from Phoenix, Arizona, and there she is.

She looks easy from the outside.

Inside, it's like Satan's

private art gallery.

Sculptured pagan granites,

unmellowed by time...

hidden in terrifying canyons and gorges.

But if you'd like to pick up $20 million...

and figure, like Buckley there,

that a mountain's just a mountain...

I'll show you where to look.

But before you leave for Arizona...

you ought to know that 21 men have been

murdered grabbing for that dough...

and hundreds more have died in other ways.

You see, this is the true story

of Superstition Mountain.

The biography of a death trap.

My name's Barry Storm.

I was hurled into this story

when I heard that shot.

Up till then, I was just an ordinary guy

with a reasonable curiosity...

about the Lost Dutchman Mine.

A curiosity I wish I'd never been born with.

I hurried towards the sound of the report...

and hoped I'd find a hunter

who'd maybe bagged a deer.

I found Floyd Buckley, sprawled and dead.

His blood, life, and dreams

spilling out on the unfriendly ground.

When you find a dead man,

you're supposed to call the police.

I'm a good citizen.

I set out to do what you're supposed to do.

Fear and panic

gave me a boost up over that ledge...

and I began to run, not walk,

to the nearest exit.

Speed no longer meant anything to Buckley,

but it did to me.

I didn't want to be framed in the crosshairs

of a telescopic sight...

on a high-powered rifle.

I'd just gone in to look for gold.

I didn't want to find lead

from the business end of a killer's gun.

It took me three days

and 36 miles of tough hiking...

to put the sheriff

from Florence, Arizona into action.

Identification bracelet.



"Lecturing in Los Angeles, September 30th. "

They're going to have to get a new speaker.

That's all the personal effects.

Let's go.

Sit down, son.

You say your name's Barry Storm.

You're from Colorado

and you've been here only 10 days.

You're no prospector, but you were up there

when Buckley got shot.

What were you doing in the mountain?

I know it sounds kind of bad,

but I was following Buckley.

You were what?

Now, wait a minute. I didn't shoot him.

I had a good reason to be up there.

My grandfather was Jacob Walz.

- Who?

- Jacob Walz.

The man who owned

the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine.

The Dutchman, huh?

That goes back to about 1880.

He's supposed to have killed

quite a few men in his time.

That doesn't have anything to do with me.

All I know is, when I was a kid...

my mum heard about this mine

her father was supposed to have found.

I always figured

someday I'd come down here.

So you came down here. Go on.

I thought there might still be a buck

laying around that had my name on it.

The first place I went to

was the Claims Office in Phoenix.

- How do you spell that again?

- Walz. W-A-L-Z. Jacob Walz.

Nope. Nobody by that name

ever registered a claim here.

This record goes clear back to 1870.

But there must have been.

The Lost Dutchman

was supposed to be worth a fortune.

He wouldn't leave the money laying around.

Maybe he never found a mine.

Some people don't believe

there ever was a Lost Dutchman.

Well, then again, some do.

The news had a story on it

just this morning.


This newspaper item was my first lead.

I wanted to meet this guy who said

he was going to find my grandfather's mine.

Mr. Buckley, ask you a couple of questions

about this newspaper story.

- Certainly. I'm always glad to see the press.

- I'm not a reporter.

I'm just interested in you being so sure

about locating that Lost Dutchman.

If you read my books, you'd know

I wouldn't go on a wild-goose chase.

- You've got a map?

- Naturally I have a map.

- One of the original Peraltas, in fact.

- Peralta?

The Peralta mine I'm seeking and

the Lost Dutchman are one and the same.

Then it looks like you and I

have got something in common.

- Yes?

- I happen to be Jacob Walz's grandson.

Really? You mean the man

who allegedly owned it?

That's very interesting, I'm sure.

- I never knew he left a family.

- I can prove it if I have to.

That's why it might be good business

to let me come along with you.

If you know how to use this map...

I not only know how to use it,

but I know where the marker is.

And I know how to use that, too.

But for your information, young man,

I never go partners.

Excuse me.

He really brushed me off.

I decided right then to follow him.

When his car dropped him off

at Apache Junction, I was waiting.

I started tailing him then.

But Buckley was too sharp.

He lost me on the third day.

I never caught up with him again.

- Not till after I heard the shots.

- 30-30. Entered downward, from behind.

This must be the map

he was talking about. It was in his wallet.

- Something's been torn off the top of it.

- Maybe that's the way he got it.

Maybe it had directions on it

and he tore it off himself.

Some fellows memorize directions

so that nobody else can use their maps.

Why, half the state has got indigestion

from eating old maps.

You been staying in Phoenix?

- Your things there?

- Well, some of them.

Most everything I own is right on me.

I put my bag in the bus depot

after I checked out of the hotel.

You haven't got a job.

You say you're the Dutchman's grandson.

You tail a guy you thought was holding out

on you. He gets knocked off.

Ray, you'd better take him out

to the mountain tomorrow.

Let him show you

just how he spent those three days.

Walter, you'd better go along with them.

How long after the shot

before you found him?

Ten to fifteen minutes.

Maybe longer. He was still warm.

- You didn't see anybody else?

- No.

What were your plans

if Buckley had found the mine?

Well, I don't know exactly.

But I wouldn't have shot him.

Well, I guess I didn't have any plans.

That is, beyond hoping there might be

a mine I might have some legal rights to.

Come on, Walter.

Let's have a look

at the other side of the canyon.

What are you looking for now?

Buckley was hit from behind.

The killer was somewhere up there

by that cliff.

You were up over there.

Does that take me off the hook?

Maybe. Unless Buckley spun around

before he fell.

You see, three other guys

have been knocked off in this same area...

ahead of Buckley, before you even got here.

That's a break in your favour.

Buckley was the fourth?

The fourth in the last two years.

All right around here and all by a 30-30.

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Ted Sherdeman

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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